The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Local Business

October 30, 2013

Doctors to see new restrictions on painkiller prescriptions

Legislators part of statewide task force

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana is joining a growing number of states adopting tighter controls on how doctors are prescribing some of the most commonly used narcotic painkillers, in an effort to curb what public health officials call an epidemic of prescription drug abuse.

Late last week, the Indiana Medical Licensing Board adopted a set of emergency rules that call for drug testing of pain-medication patients, more screening and monitoring of patients by doctors to detect drug addiction and abuse, and a mandatory “treatment agreement” between doctors and patients that’s focused on improving health and not just alleviating pain.

The new rules – which serve as the basis for permanent rules to come — were adopted the same week that the federal Food and Drug Administration recommended tougher restrictions for the most widely abused prescription drugs that contain the narcotic hydrocodone, such a Vicodin, Lortab and their generic equivalents. The FDA restrictions, if passed, would reduce the number of refills patients could get before going back to see their doctor and would require patients to take a prescription to a pharmacy, rather than have their doctor call it in.

“These are big first steps, but we still have a long way to go controlling access to some very dangerous drugs,” said Republican state Sen. Ron Grooms, a retired Jeffersonville pharmacist who sponsored the legislation that led to the new state rules.

Grooms and members of a statewide drug abuse prevention task force that helped craft the new restrictions expect pushback from patients and doctors who’ve grown accustomed to relatively easy access to the commonly prescribed medications used to treat pain from arthritis, injuries, dental extractions and other problems.

But it’s grief they’re willing to take, given the explosion of people dependent on painkillers and the rise in overdose deaths.

“We knew if we didn’t get ahold of this problem now, it was going to be one of those things that we’d never get ahold of,” said Dr. Deborah McMahan, the Allen County health commissioner and chair of a statewide task force of medical and legal experts who helped craft the new prescribing rules.

Text Only
Local Business
  • Clark, Big Joe mug [Duplicate] 'Big Joe' Clark: Plan your strategy for financing higher education Planning is essential regardless of the situation, but no plan is perfect. There will be flat tires and snow days, but there will also be dances and great memories. Let’s plan for what we can even if we know it won’t be perfect.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • boynton, brandon photo Teen receives funding for business venture Brandon Boynton is moving forward with his business dreams, thanks in part to a local working capital loan and a fundraising campaign.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senior housing project advances If all the pieces fall into place within the next two weeks, construction on a new senior housing development could begin this fall.

    July 30, 2014

  • Roundabout bids higher than expected Bids for a planned facelift of the gateway into Anderson from Interstate 69 at Scatterfield Road came in considerably higher than the engineer’s estimate for the project.

    July 29, 2014

  • FEA - HB0729 - Senior Falls Aging safely in the comfort of her home Marilyn Moneyhun said being totally reliant on others is difficult. "Losing your independence is a shock to your system," Moneyhun, 84, said. "You are not in control anymore."

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0728 - business expansion CB Fabricating makes $2 million investment

    A local business founded in 2006 has invested $2 million in new equipment and a building expansion.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd: 'My Social Security' simplifies your life So many people buzz through extremely busy and complicated schedules these days. A smartphone in one hand, a computer in front of you, and a digital task list that never seems to end. In addition, to complicate things just a little more, there’s another event you need to add to your list — National Simplify Your Life week.

    July 28, 2014

  • nws - hb0725 - colts - jc - 4.jpg Colts camp's impact: pricey or priceless?

    Football fever is here and the city is flooded with fans eager to catch a glimpse of a favorite player. But officials say they are unclear what kind of economic impact the Indianapolis Colts training camp has on the area.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ - HB0727 - Skill gap 2 Seeking a solution today, not tomorrow Tina Warner-Morton says she wants to open her own healthcare business because it is too difficult to work for an employer with unclear employee expectations.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ - HB0727 - Cathy Cupboard Biz Profile Business Profile: Cathy's Cupboard focuses on customer satisfaction Cathy McPhearson opened her first storefront in June, but this is not her first venture into business. “I have always wanted to have my own business,” she said. “The problem was finding what people like, but everyone seems to like candles.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

Stocks
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide